Parks department plans third Chugiak pool deck fix

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 13:47
  • Members of the Chugiak High School swim team practice on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. Besides area swim teams, the Chugiak pool offers open lap swimming, swim lessons, water exercise classes and other opportunities. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)
  • An Eagle River/Chugiak Parks and Recreation sign outside the Chugiak High School pool on Aug. 24, 2017. Managed by the local park department, the pool offers open lap swimming, swim lessons, water exercise classes and other aquatic opportunities. (Star photo by Kirsten Swann)

On a recent August afternoon, while members of the Chugiak High School Swim and Dive Team ran through dryland training exercises on the pool deck, another section of deck remained cordoned off behind yellow caution tape, covered with a thick black mat and an orange safety cone. Under the mat, the deck bulged and split. Strips of duct tape secured separating tiles.

Despite two recent renovations totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, the CHS pool deck is broken again and headed for another closure and repair.

“It’s caused a lot of headaches, but ultimately at some point it’s going to have be redone,” said John Rodda, director of Eagle River/Chugiak Parks and Recreation.

In 2009, a now-defunct company called World Wide Roofing submitted the winning low bid to complete major repair work on the Chugiak pool’s tile deck, according to Municipality of Anchorage bid documents. But the 2009 fix was “deficient,” according to the municipality, and the contractor later defaulted on its obligations to repair and complete the work.

Three years later, the project again went out to bid – this time to repair the work done by the previous contractor, Rodda said. The process didn’t go much better.

“We thought we had it fixed, and it turned out the fix wasn’t a fix,” Rodda said.

While the majority of pool deck is currently safe to use, according to park officials, the problems are unavoidable and the municipality will have no choice but to repair the deck sometime soon.

The parks department has added the pool to its list of 2018 capital improvement project requests, according to park supervisors. Though the cost has yet to be determined, Rodda said, the fix would likely require closing the Chugiak pool for six to eight weeks at the height of next summer. Because tile decks are proving difficult to install correctly in Alaska, the department might consider switching to something different, like the nonslip concrete decks found at other municipal pools, according to the parks director.

“We’re looking at every available option,” he said.

Contact Star reporter Kirsten Swann at kirsten.swann@alaskastar.com.

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